Doctor of Philosophy Degree in Soil Science

Admission to Program
Prospective students must meet the general requirements to the Graduate College as set forth in the Graduate Catalog.  The departmental Graduate Coordinator and faculty in an applicant's area of interest will review applications and make recommendations relative to the qualifications of individual applicants.  Qualified applicants must be accepted by a departmental advisor prior to official admission.  The Department Head recommends acceptance or rejection of individual applicants to the Dean of the Graduate College.

Requirements for the Degree
First, minimum standards which must be met before the granting of the Doctor of Philosophy degree by Oklahoma State University are set by the Graduate College and are listed in the Graduate Catalog.  Since the Soil Science degree program accommodates a wide range of interests, the Department of Plant and Soil Sciences has established some additional requirements to ensure that students have well-balanced, high-quality programs.  These departmental requirements are not subject to modification by the student's advisory committee without the approval of the Department Head or his/her representative.

Second, an advisory committee of at least four (4) members must be established for each student.  At least one of the committee members must be from a department other than Plant and Soil Sciences.  Committees must be established early in the student's program, and all members must have the opportunity to advise and assist in the initial development of a plan of study and the thesis research project.

Third, a plan of study must be approved by the advisory committee and the Department Head and filed with the Graduate College prior to enrollment in the third semester beyond the Master's degree.  Duplicate copies of the plan of study must be submitted to the Department Head.

Fourth, a thesis research proposal must be developed by each student, approved by his/her committee, and files with the Department Head and the Graduate College as early in the program as possible, but no later than the beginning of the third full semester of study beyond the M.S. degree.

Fifth, additional departmental requirements relating to course work: The following requirements are minimal.  Some programs will specify additional requirements.

Plant and Soil Sciences
Three (3) credit hours of SOIL 5020 (Seminar)
Fifteen (15) credit hours of SOIL 6000 (Doctor's Thesis).  Eighteen (18) credit hours are preferred.
Fifteen (15) credit hours of either PLNT, SOIL, or RLEM courses at the 5000 level or above (excluding seminar and thesis) are required in the Ph.D. program.
An additional twenty-seven (27) credit hours of research or course work must be taken and these will be determined in consultation with the student's advisory committee.  The requirements for course work from "Other Departments" (see below) must be satisfied within these 27 credit hours.
A student with a M.S. or equivalent degree will not receive graduate credit for 3000 level PLNT, SOIL, or RLEM courses taken during the Ph.D. program.

Other Departments
Mathematics: One approved calculus course (three [3] credit hour minimum) must be passed.
Statistics: Six (6) credit hours of 5000 level or above are required on the combined M.S. and Ph.D. programs.
To add breadth to the educational experience, each student must have nine (9) additional credit hours related to the student's specialty area from Chemistry, Physical Sciences, Geological Science, Biological Sciences, or Environmental/Water Sciences.  these courses must be approved by the student's graduate committee.

Sixth, each student must demonstrate proficiency in the use of the English language to the satisfaction of his/her advisory committee.  Each student must also demonstrate proficiency in research methodology and in his/her ability to conduct independent research.  The reading knowledge of a foreign language is not a general requirement.  If it is necessary for the student to read a foreign language in the study of his/her major field or in the preparation of his/her thesis, the advisory committee may establish the requirement.

Seventh, students are required to pass three (3) examinations during the course of the Soil Science Ph.D. degree program.  The examinations are:

Preliminary Examination
This examination is required by the department and is administered by the advisory committee prior to the beginning of the third full semester of course work in the student's program.  Part of this examination will be a defense of the thesis research proposal developed by the student.  The remaining portion of the examination should be used to determine the student's academic competence, the need for non-credit course work, and suitability for continued pursuit of the Ph.D. degree.  The examination will normally be oral but, at the discretion of the committee, may contain a written portion.  Results of the examination must be filed with the Department Head within five (5) working days after it is administered.  Normally a memo indicating the results of the examination and an approved copy of the thesis research proposal will be filed at the same time.  Students failing the examination may retake it on (1) time within a period of six (6) months from the date it was first administered.  Failure of the second examination will result in termination of the student's program.

Qualifying Examination
This is mandated by the Graduate College and is administered by the advisory committee in accordance with procedures outlined in the Graduate Catalog.  The examination must contain both written and oral portions.

Final Examination
This is also mandated by the Graduate College and is administered by the advisory committee in accordance with the procedures outlined in the Graduate Catalog.

Final Examination/Thesis Defense
All students in the Plant and Soil Sciences Department who are pursuing a Ph.D. degree are required to assist in the instruction of a Plant and Soil Sciences (SOIL) course for a period of one semester

Interested in more information?  Fill our this email info form, and we'll get in touch with you as soon as possible.  Or, read the Plant and Soil Science Graduate Student Handbook.



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